Maine rains again

But not much. We woke to a beautiful day in Bethel, so set off for Grafton Notch again to do some of the hiking that we had deemed it too wet for the previous day. As we drove upwards, the clouds grew thicker and when we got out at the trailhead it was raining lightly. We had decided to climb 900 feet to Table Rock to start with – this hike has two choices, a steep route and a more moderate path, so you can make it a loop walk. We chose to go up the steep route (because I feel safer climbing than descending) which was described in the information leaflet we had as “boulder strewn”. It certainly was. What the leaflet didn’t mention was that you had to climb over many very large boulders and scramble between them. Rock climbing if you ask me – occasionally, I needed a helping hand to pull me up and, once, a firm shove from behind. I was particularly despondent when we met two young men coming down who told us that the route got more challenging ahead, and I almost decided to turn back. Fortunately we didn’t because they were wrong – we were over the worst and the views from the top were lovely, despite the low cloud. Here we are enjoying our triumph.

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Going down the easier route was fine, but I didn’t feel like any more stiff climbs so we left the park (with the sun reappearing as we drove) and stopped at Step Falls, just outside it. We climbed (gently) as far as you could go without trespassing on private land and sat for a while enjoying the view.

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Thus ended our stay in Bethel – just one last word about its restaurants though. For a very small town it has a wide selection and we ate our best meal of the holiday (so far) here in 22 Broad Street. Tomorrow, it’s on to the coast. The forecast is dry – until Friday. I wonder what there is to do in Bar Harbor in the rain?

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